Sunday, 28 October 2012

Dungarees and Snap Fasteners

Ever since hearing that my brother and sister-in-law are expecting a little boy, I have been itching to make a pair of dungarees for the little man. I found a cute pattern in the book 'Making Baby's Clothes' (by Rob Merrett), but wanted to add snap closures to the leg inseams to make nappy changing simpler. Since seeing Jessica at Me Sew Crazy use snap-tape on her Baby Snap Cargo Pants, I have been on a mission to find such tape. However, I have not been able to find it anywhere and so the project has been on hold.
However, this week I discovered the joy of KAM snap fasteners and having tested them out on corduroy with my basic autumn pinafore dress project, I decided that they would work well on the dungarees. So after an evening at my sewing machine, I have my cute baby boy cord dungarees (teamed up in the photo with a shirt I made last week using another pattern from Me Sew Crazy - The Baby Boy Button Up).

I used a contrasting polka-dot cotton for the pocket trims and reverse of the straps and bibs. I also added in some trim along the hemline (with extra contrast fabric on the reverse of the leg bottoms for turning up, if needs be).
I decided to be brave and use a contrasting colour for the snap closures on the straps and sides, matching to the bright blue colour in the polka-dot print. It's bright, but I think it has worked well and ties the two fabrics together.
For the leg inseam closures I used brown snap fasteners as they were for practicality and not aesthetics. I used the polka-dot fabric to create facings to reinforce the inseam area where the snaps are and decided to allow some of the fabric to peek out like it does on the hem... now I'm not so sure about that decision (maybe a bit too much polka-dot


Speedy little autumn basics

A little while back I posted about some toddler corduroy skirts that I made, in preparation for the cooler autumn weather. I had a reasonable sized piece of the dusky pink cord left and decided to use this to make a simple pinafore style dress for my (almost) two-year-old niece... a staple for any little girl's autumn wardrobe.
I had a scrap of contrasting bright pink polycotton left over from another project and used this to create a lining for the top portion of the dress (I didn't have enough to line the whole dress, but never mind). It gave a nice finished edge to the neckline and arm-holes, which I then topstitched. I also found a scrap of MidWest Modern - Garden Maze in tan (by Amy Butler) which was just perfect for a little butterfly motif.
I created a simple A-line dress pattern piece and used this for both the front and back (pattern available here). I created a back opening from the centre of the neck, down approximately 5 inches and added a button band type thing to the right side. I shaped the back neckline so that it sloped down to the opening, rather than curving (like the front).
I recently discovered the joy of KAM snap fasteners (and have probably now have a bit of an obsession with them)... They are so quick and simple to attach, come in lots of great colours and designs and are also realtively cheap. And the best bit is... no need to sew buttonholes! I used 3 bright pink snaps on the back opening, which do actually match the colour of the lining (for some reason they look red in the photo, but they are most definitely bright pink!).
This dress is nothing fancy, but it will get lots of wear. And being so simple, it was a quick and satisfying little project for a Friday night in. Watch this space for more cord projects (which may also have an abundance of snap fasteners... like I said, I think I have an obsession!).

And here's the little lady modelling the dress...



Monday, 22 October 2012

Baby Boy Outfit

This weekend I decided to try out some of the boy patterns and tutorials by the wonderful Jessica at Me Sew Crazy. Not only are they gorgeous and easy to follow, but they are also free!
So here's my versions of the 'Baby Boy Button Up' and the 'Baby Boy Snap Cargo Pants'.
The polka dot fabric is a super soft and silky cotton and the trousers are a lovely duck-egg blue needlecord, both from John-Lewis.

I didn't add pockets and decided not to use snaps on the trousers as I didnt have enough. I used the polka-dot fabric as lining for extra warmth, also making the trousers reversible as it took hardly any extra effort and it is always nice to have options (though I dont think you would ever put the polka-dot shirt with the polka-dot trousers... very intense!).

I decided to have decorative buttons on the shirt and snap closures underneath as buttons on small babies can be fiddly (and as you've probably realised... I HATE making buttonholes!).
I love the little details in these patterns, especially the little pocket on the chest and the inverse pleat on the back of the shirt.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Fleece Pram-Suit

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to get stuck into an exciting project... my time and energy have been swallowed up by building work and ‘work’ work. I have had a project whirling around in my head for a couple of weeks though, sparked by picking up a huge navy blue fleece throw/ blanket at B&Q for the bargain price of £2.99 (I was meant to be buying masonry paint and tile adhesive, but couldn’t resist looking at the home furnishings too)!

So with my first nephew due to make his arrival in the world some time between Christmas and the New Year when it is likely to be freezing here, I figured that the fleece would be perfect for a little baby coat or pram-suit.



I dug through my stash to find something for the lining and found some lovely silky navy and white patterned fabric (that in a past life was a skirt I think) and there was enough of it make a whole pram-suit rather than just a jacket.
I wasn’t really sure where to start, but had a browse on sewset and came across a nice pattern for a baby sleep sack over at Running with Scissors. I used this as a starting point and with a little fiddling and adjusting got to a pattern for a pram suit.

Most of the fiddly bits to do with the wrap over, zip, attaching lining and making buckle holes (for the buggy/ car set) I figured out as I went along, and for this reason I’m afraid I cannot give you a tutorial. I’m also pretty sure that there are better ways of doing many of these things (I do have a tendency to wing-it and don’t always do things in the most methodical and practical of ways).

All that's left to do now is make a little hat and mittens to match.


And here's the mittens and hat...

Monday, 1 October 2012

Crafting fix

With a couple more days of building work still ahead of me I am seriously missing an outlet for my creativity... so this evening I have indulged in a quick project to take the edge of the crafting cravings.

I picked up this lovely dusky pink needlecord up at John Lewis in a sale a while back and have been waiting for autumn to get stuck into some cozy autumn projects. So after a quick chat with my sister-in-law about my niece's autumn fashion needs, I settled on a girlie flouncy (is that a real word?) skirt.
I pretty much wingged this project (so desperate as I was to get sat in front of my sewing machine again) so I don't have any measurements for you, but it was pretty basic. The fabric pieces I used were:
One width of the cord fabric (the length being about 2/3 of the final desired skirt length).
One width of the gingham for the waistband, long enough to encase the elastic you plan to use (with a bit extra if you want it to peek over the top like mine).
Two widths of cord (joined together) to make the first flouncy layer and two widths of gingham (joined together) to make the second flouncy layer. The gingham should be about 1/3 of the final desired length of the skirt. The cord should be shorter as you want the gingham to hang lower at the bottom.
After I gathered the long strips I joined them together by zigzagging along the top edge of both with the cord layered over the gingham. This was to save time and also to stop the layers slipping. The gathers makes the seam between the bottom of the main skirt and flounces a bit fiddly to sticth, so having two of the layers zigzagged together was helpful...

And because I was on a role and enjoying myself, I decided to whizz up a little box pleat skirt to balance out all the flounciness of the first skirt. I used a great tutorial by Tricia, over at Made by Me & Shared with You.